As I mentioned in a previous column, I've been registered as both a republican and a democrat -- but for many years now, I've been registered as an NP or non-partisan. Part of the reason that I became an NP is because I simply have difficulty with the fact that many partisans cannot seem to define themselves beyond their political affiliation. As a result their response to any issue is always a knee-jerk reaction that sounds like some blathering of the "party-line."
Ever find yourself having a discussion with someone who tinges every phrase with political bias? I have no problem with anyone's political freedoms but when one cannot get through a sentence without somehow working in their party's point of view, the conversation gets pointless -- and when they try to do it discreetly or cleverly, it becomes even more wearisome.
Vote for "So & So"I once had a discussion with a friend of mine, who asked me whether I was planning to vote for "so and so" in an upcoming election. I said I didn't know enough about that candidate and that I probably wouldn't vote for that political office. I asked him if he knew anything about the particular candidate and he said that he didn't either, but that he was a member of his party and therefore he would vote for him. He said, "When in doubt, I always vote the party line!" I found it astounding that someone had so much faith in a party -- following blindly, almost religiously, merely because the party said so... When I asked him why, he said that "his party" was the one most closely aligned with his ideals -- so when in doubt, "vote party!"
I found this very disturbing on many, many levels.
Party, party, party!In the last election we were given the choice between Bush and Gore. I didn't find much distinction between the two. They both seemed very similar. Neither one stood out to me. There are many people who will argue about the "obvious" differences of the two, but I noticed that it would usually just boil down to political perspectives again -- democrats extolled Gore's virtues while republicans did the same for Bush. The election results pretty much echoed the case for my perceived similarity. When roughly half the votes went for each candidate, it showed that the electorate really did not find a great deal of difference between the two either.
Kerry or BushNow once again we are heating up for a Presidential election and I am faced with Kerry or Bush. Again I don't see much of a choice here. Both of these men seem to have an equal amount of virtues and flaws. Both are conducting campaigns that do little to get my attention. The divisive issue currently appears to be the war in Iraq. I don't really believe that we would have been in a different situation, had Mr. Gore become President in the previous election, but politics as they are -- if one candidate is for it, then the other has to be against it... I was in Europe in 2003 and I had an opportunity (was forced into) to discuss the situation with a number of different people. Their perspectives were very interesting, but their "facts" were as jumbled up and self-serving as the "facts" that we are presented with in the USA.
What was said...I've heard some very interesting comments since September 11, 2001 (9/11) -- having to do with the Twin-Towers destruction as well as the war in Iraq. Concerning the Twin-Towers (paraphrased quotes follow) -- One gentleman, said, "all the Jews were told to stay home that day... they knew what was coming..." Another person said, "all the Arabs were told to stay home that day... they knew what was coming..." Yet another person said, "the administration knew about the whole thing... just like Roosevelt knew about and welcomed Pearl Harbor..." Here is the topper of all -- an acquaintance said, "the administration not only knew about it but actually orchestrated the whole thing..." A Swiss friend pointed out that "an 'American' wrote a book, which said that the President knew about it in advance..." Now Michael Moore's latest movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, makes Bush out to be both an idiot and some kind of evil genius... while we must question the motives of our leaders, we must also question the motives of anyone selling a book or a movie... capitalism combined with freedom of speech can be quite profitable.
Flip a coin?In the last Presidential election I voted for some local items, but I abstained from voting for President... This year I can vote for the candidate with a wealthy family, who went to Yale, is a member of the exclusive "Skull and Bones" organization, is descended from English settlers, Edmund Reade and Elizabeth Cooke, and is also a ninth cousin of Hugh Hefner... and don't forget his noble lineage which includes a variety of European royalty... OR I can vote for the candidate with a wealthy family, who went to Yale, is a member of the exclusive "Skull and Bones" organization, is descended from English settlers, Edmund Reade and Elizabeth Cooke, and is also a ninth cousin of Hugh Hefner... and don't forget his noble lineage which includes a variety of European royalty... Oops is that both candidates? Of course since George W. Bush and John Kerry are cousins, they probably have more in common than I'll ever know...Hmmm... two sides of the same coin? Maybe I'll just flip a coin.
Post Script -- On November 2, 2004 at 11am, I stood in the voting booth and I flipped a quarter... it came up "heads..."
Gigliotti, Lorenzo. "Non-Partisan." The Random Times
The quixotic mind of Lorenzo Gigliotti
All rights reserved © 2004 FG Enterprises, Long Beach, California